Fijian parliamentarians took part in a self-assessment of their capacity to contribute effectively to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), using for the first time the toolkit designed by the IPU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
A total of 50 participants took part in the exercise, including 36 MPs and two Vice-Ministers, which took place in Suva from 2 to 6 October 2017.
An introductory workshop on parliamentary engagement on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs was hosted by the Speaker of the Parliament, Dr. Jiko Luveni. This was followed by a four-day self-assessment exercise with the Parliamentary Committees, Parliamentary Services, and Committee staff. Participants discussed specific issues, including mainstreaming the SDGs into parliamentary mechanisms, passing laws to support the SDGs, financing them, monitoring their implementation, ensuring public engagement and that the SDGs are placed at the service of the most vulnerable sectors of society. They were assisted by experts from the IPU and UNDP.
Participants formulated a number of recommendations to facilitate the integration of the SDGs into the legislative process and emphasized the importance of: broadly engaging with government and civil society in order to ensure better access to data; including the SDGs in induction courses for new MPs; making it mandatory to conduct systematic SDGs assessment of draft bills; and organizing more consultations on the SDGs with citizens and communities in rural/remote areas.
The report from the self-assessment will be prepared and tabled in Parliament.